Guest blog post by Nick Zeckets, co-founder, CEO of QuadWrangle
It’s been said a thousand times: there is no shortage of ideas. I’ll go a step farther and say there’s not even a shortage of great ideas. There are, however, very few sellable ideas.
If yours isn’t a sellable product, you don’t have a company.
So, how do you figure out if you have something a market really wants?
Sell from day one.
Yes, classic analysis of your addressable market, needs gaps, buyer pain, and on is critical. Where the rubber hits the road is in understanding whether your approach to solving a well defined pain is something someone will pay for.
Four years ago, when founding QuadWrangle, it was a passion and experience driven idea. Deep in my bones, like so many entrepreneurs, I knew I was onto something. Yes, we did the market sizing. We looked at the competitive space. When we really started learning is when we started soft selling.
We went to market with a powerpoint deck and some reasonable confidence we could actually build it. In the early sales calls, we learned:
- Who were our real competitors?
- What problems did we think the market had that they didn’t?
- What price range was too high? Too low?
- Who did our story resonate with the most?
After every sales call we’d talk about what we learned. Our CTO would be right there in the post-call breakdown. What features felt soft? What was missing? The data started piling up until the sales story we were telling was for a product that was well honed and buildable.
Then we signed two clients at ten’s of thousands of dollars each. Every sales call from there was different. It was no longer about whether we had the right concept to sell. Then we had to go build it and watch it perform, tweak against that performance, and iterate our messaging and sales strategy with a insatiable drive for product enhancement.
How do I know that approach worked? Just this week in a sales call a prospect reacted, “you have a great answer to everything.” Trust me, in the beginning, we didn’t, but selling from day one forced us to hear real pushback and evolve towards that feedback.
Have trepidation about selling? Your story is everything. Your prospects hear uninspired pitches and see painful demos every week. Live your story with them and you’ll be fine. Need some more support? Come join us for the LearnLaunch sales series.